The holidays and an endless list of other obligations have made life busy lately and curtailed my writing time. So it feels good to be starting this update. I’m doing it on a borrowed computer, which feels odd. Our laptop is in the shop for repairs, if indeed it survived the experiment and can be repaired.
What experiment, you ask. Well, thank you for asking. Katie and Ian worked together to determine if a laptop computer continues to function at normal levels after consuming a small glass of wine. And yes, the subject of the experiment was the computer, not the operator.
The experiment began with Little Ian bouncing a ball around the kitchen. It wasn’t an ordinary ball, but one of those oversize rubber balls that some people do sit-ups on. I’m not sure what people use it for in our house when Ian isn’t bouncing it around the kitchen like Michael Jordan, but it isn’t sit-ups. Ian dribbled the ball ever closer to Katie, who was sitting at the kitchen table using the laptop to work on something, with a small glass of wine sitting nearby. I heard Katie caution Ian a couple of times to be careful. I wasn’t too concerned. How much damage could a small boy do bouncing something not much larger than the planet earth in a confined area?
The shout filled the air in imperfect harmony with the sound of wine glass and Hewlett-Packard crashing together. As if she was responding to the crack of a starter’s pistol in a 100 yard dash, Katie raced across the kitchen grabbing as many paper towels as she could carry back to the wine-soaked keyboard.
Ian stood staring. The big bouncing ball lay still beside him. I wondered very quietly to myself what might be added to this story if Ian suddenly grabbed the ball and started doing sit-ups.
The Best Buy Geek Squad is performing field sobriety tests, and we’ll hopefully know very soon if our version of the Big Bang was fatal – to the computer, not Ian.
We record most of the boys’ television programming. It makes it easier for us to control what they are watching. It has had a downside, though. Every time a commercial comes on, one of the boys is yelling for me or Katie to come fast forward through the commercials.
Last weekend I had put on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for them. I was in another room doing something when I realized a half hour had passed and I hadn’t heard a single scream for fast forwarding. Curious, I went to check on them. I arrived in time to see a commercial with a young boy wielding a large, plastic machine gun that was spraying nurf-like bullets around a room in his nowhere to be found family’s house. I grabbed the remote and fast forwarded to Rudolph. As the show started back up, Ian looked up at me and said, “Daddy, we want one of those.”
It’s true. Our boys have become commercialized. They have learned those magical two words that ignite the Christmas spirit in children: “I want.”
I don’t worry about it too much. I was a commercialized child. I wanted and I got. As time goes on, though, I can’t remember much of anything I got, but the memories of family gatherings and holiday traditions grow stronger each year. As I watched Ian smile with excitement hanging ornaments on the tree, and as I hear his demand each morning to fire up the lights that wrap between those ornaments, I am hopeful our boys too are having memories created that will one day stand out above anything they “got.”
The commercialization isn’t completely worry-free, though. I can’t help but wonder if Ian can bring down Hewlett-Packard with an exercise ball, what on earth will he do with a machine gun?
IAN GETTING READY FOR THE TOWN OF ASHLAND HOLIDAY PARADE.
MAYBE NEXT YEAR HE'LL BE ONE OF THE CLOWNS
ELLIOTT AND GG DECORATING COOKIES AT AUNT KARA'S HOUSE OVER THANKSGIVING
COUSIN LUKE AND IAN HAD A LITTLE WILDER TIME DECORATING